What to Do If You’ve Been Exposed to Asbestos
Asbestos is a known carcinogen that can cause life-threatening and fatal disease. Severe or repeated exposures to asbestos put people at increased risk of developing adverse symptoms and diseases like lung cancer, mesothelioma, or asbestosis.
Asbestos is Highly Toxic and Dangerous
Asbestos is a broad term for six naturally-occurring minerals that are processed into fibers. The fibers are then woven into dense threads. It was widely used for its flame-resistant properties and its inability to conduct electricity for nearly 100 years.
Construction businesses used asbestos products for insulation and fireproofing. Many common construction materials like ceiling and floor tiles, drywall coating, and paints also contain asbestos. Asbestos products have been widely used constructing ships as insulation around pipes and boilers.
Unfortunately, asbestos fibers are extremely toxic when humans breathe them in or ingest them. Limits on asbestos exposure have been in place since the 1970s, but millions have been exposed to asbestos since the link between asbestos and illness was discovered, particularly for those working in specific industries, including:
- Shipbuilding, U.S Navy Veterans
- Automotive repair
- Boiler operation
Symptoms and Health Risks of Asbestos Exposure
When asbestos fibers are disturbed tiny particles of asbestos dust are released into the air. Asbestos particles can linger in an area for hours or even days, increasing the risk of unintentional exposure.
Once inside the body, the asbestos fibers begin to accumulate in the lung tissue, where they lead to numerous severe health impacts. Typical symptoms of asbestos exposure are respiratory-related symptoms, including:
- Dry cough
- Shortness of breath
- Pain or discomfort in the chest
- Difficulty breathing
Asbestos is known to cause numerous types of cancer, with mesothelioma and lung cancer being the most common.
Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that affects specific tissues in the lung and stomach lining called the mesothelium. Asbestos exposure has a strong connection to a significantly increased risk of developing mesothelioma.
Asbestos-Related Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is another typical outcome of repeated or severe or repeated. The microscopic particles shed by asbestos fibers can become trapped in lung tissues, leading to long-term inflammation, scarring, and eventually, the growth of cancer cells.
Other Asbestos Cancers
Other types of asbestos-related cancers can happen from severe and repeated exposures and may take many years to develop. Asbestos can potentially cause other forms of cancer, including:
- Stomach cancer
- Colon cancer
- Rectal cancer
- Esophageal cancer
Workplace exposure and those exposed through living in proximity to large-scale asbestos mining operations are at a heightened risk for asbestos-related illness. Workers in a variety of industries had widespread exposed to toxic asbestos. Safety precautions were often not up to standard in these industries, and workers were much more likely to experience repeated and long-term exposure.
If you or a loved one has a history of asbestos exposure and is experiencing symptoms or has been diagnosed with cancer or mesothelioma, you should schedule a time to speak with a qualified asbestos injury lawyer. Each case of asbestos exposure is unique, and the right lawyer can be essential to a favorable outcome.